Sticks and Stones

Sticks and Stones
The day you were born was an important day so we celebrate your birthday. Birthdays happen everyday but we celebrate each birthday of those we know and love because each person is important and each person is loved by God.

The day your husband died of cancer was an important day so we grieve with you and pray with you. Death happens everyday but we recognize this is a particularly hard day for you and so we offer up our sympathies and comfort you any way we can because you are important, because we love you.

The day you got married to the love of your life was an important day so we rejoice with you in your journey of marriage. Marriages happen everyday but this day it happened to you and we will celebrate your wedding because you and your marriage are important, and because you are loved.

The day your wife told you about her affair was an important day so we come along side you and walk with you through the trial. Affairs happen everyday but we walk through this trial with our friends and loved ones because their suffering is important and they are loved.

The day you watched your child be baptized was an important day. Baptisms happen everyday but we are praising Jesus with you for the step your child took because we love you and you and your family are important.

The day you were in a car accident and lost both of your legs was an important day. Car accidents and injuries happen everyday but on this day it happened to you and you are important and you are loved.

The day you …. well I could go on and on with examples. The point is, our joys and our trials are important, and can be life changing even though they happen everyday. The thing is that even though they happen everyday, over and over, on that day it happened to you and you are no less important or loved and no more important or loved than the millions of other people it also happened too. One thing though, what happened to you brought you joy or brought you suffering. It is also part of your story. The story that God wrote just for you. Don’t look merely at your own story; be sure to pay close attention to those around you, they are important too. Do not discount your story as meaningless because it is the norm and don’t minimize someone else’s joy or suffering because you’ve seen their story before. They are walking through the very special journey that God planned for them and it’s not our place to say it is not important simply because it occurs daily to other people.

No it’s not the first affair to ever happen but it may have been the first one that individual went through. No it’s not the first death or marriage but it may be that person’s first experience with it. So please before you say that person is self-focused or dwelling perhaps take a moment and realize that maybe this is just the first time they are having to walk through this and maybe knowing they are not alone on the journey will help them look up and look around. Our stories are important, each and every one of them, God wrote them, we are important to him, we are loved by him. We are called by God to be loving to one another and discounting or minimizing a person’s story is not being loving. Be encouraging and be loving. Give them the truth soaked in love and don’t disregard them and how they are feeling.

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:9-11

Like you, I have a story that God wrote for my life. There are parts to my story that are known and other parts that I keep to myself. Regardless of who knows details about me, my story, through joy and suffering, has brought me closer to Christ. There has been a tremendous amount of pain and an equal if not greater amount of joy. Christ has brought me joy amidst the suffering.

Along the way many have said countless times that my story is of no consequence and thus my being on this earth is futile. I have heard those words time and time again, mostly from believers. Those words have deeply wounded me. This caused me to pause and look at my identity closer, to really evaluate the truths that I need a reminder of and need to learn on a deeper level, and pray for God to reveal more of His truths to me. Don’t be fooled into thinking that your words have no impact on people, they have a deeper imprint than you may realize. Sticks and stones do hurt but to be honest words hurt much deeper and those wounds take much longer to heal.

Something I have observed is that while many (Christians) take issue with the word “important” I believe they are misunderstanding the context the word is used in (though not always). If I say that in fact my story is important and that I am important, that statement is often taken to be self-centered. Knowing who you are, your identity in Christ is not self-centered. No, on this earth and to the world I am not important, I am a nobody, I am okay with that. To my God I am a somebody (so are you); I am a daughter to the Most High King.

We are loved because we are His. We are no better or worse than any other person God has created. Apart from Christ you and I are nothing. Yes, people are important to us because we are each carefully made by our Creator, not because any of us are superior. So when I talk about being important I’m not talking about being important to you or to the world, I am talking about being important to God. We are His creation and to Him we are important. We walk this earth to live out the gospel, to serve and love God.

It is crucial that our identity not be tied up in our earthly ranking. Jesus was not brutally murdered on the cross because he thought it would be enjoyable, he went through the indescribable pain and suffering for us, because he loves us, because we are important to him, because we are his. This has been a long journey for me and that journey certainly isn’t over, not by a long shot.

 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. Ephesians 1:3-10

 

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